View Full Version : Question about GH and KH

03-25-2011, 04:06 PM
The GH of my well water is between 7 and 9 degrees; KH is only about 1. I'm concerned that the low KH will interfere with molting.

It was suggested (previous thread here) that I should add a human-consumption calcium tab to help with the KH, but no instructions as to how often or how much, so if anyone can clarify that I'd appreciate it.

I DO add Seachem Equilibrium to the change water on ALL my tanks, so I'm hoping that will help a bit. It contains calcium I know, because I checked the label.

The tank is 5g, plants are Java fern and 2 kinds of moss, Manzy wood and an Azoo Palm filter. It's been up and running for nearly 3 months, cycled with dirty media from another tank. It's a shrimp only tank, just a couple snails with them.

Any suggestions or ideas? What is considered the "lowest" KH reading before damage occurs to the shrimp? I ask these questions because I found a dead shrimp lying next to a molted exoskeleton, which leads me to believe the shrimp's new shell didn't harden properly.

Thanks for the help, folks. :22:

04-25-2011, 01:00 PM
I have read that a KH of 3-4 is generally good, mine is in that range and my shrimp constantly overpopulate. At first I tried shrimp only and had water quality issues, especially with only a few shrimp it is easy to overfeed and get decaying food and ammonia issues, and not enough nutrient cycling. Shrimp actually eat very little, and when my algae is growing too fast I skip feeding for several days and they are just fine eating only that.
Anyway, I put a tank divider in my 55 gal tank, on the smaller side (maybe 1 quarter of the tank) I have shrimp with a couple of Siamese algae eaters (the only fish I know of that won't eat baby shrimp) and on the large side I have guppies, 7 clown loaches and 6 Siamese algae eaters. The fish cycling of nutrients seems to do wonders for the shrimp and they reproduce in unbelieveable numbers. Went from 20 to what looked like a thousand in a year. Every few months I remove a few hundred and either give them away or put them in the large side. The fish on that side eat the tiny young but don't bother the half grown or adult shrimp. That side has hundreds of adult shrimp constantly cleaning the plants and scavenging. Never find a dead guppy, the shrimp quickly consume it.
Anyway, I assume you could add Equilibrium until you achieved the desired KH. My tank is also heavily planted and I add Leaf Zone (iron and potassium) the plants grow beautifully. For water changes I use 10 percent well water and 90 percent rain water, adding one half teaspoon Equilibrium per 5 gal. The rest of the nutrients come from fish cycling food. The rain water/well water combination keeps the ph around 7 which the shrimp seem to like. With the lower ph I get black algae but the Siamese algae eaters and the shrimp combined keep it under control. Every other day or so I feed the shrimp 2 algae wafers. Once a month or so I give them a freeze dried tubifex cube which they consume completely in a few hours.
I maintain considerable water movement with air wand and filter. Keeps water quality high. The entire setup has run unbelieveably smooth for 2 years now. with only 10 gal weekly water changes, filter cleaning and periodic removal of excess guppies, shrimp and plant growth.